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The essays in this volume show Keynes's attempts to influence the course of events by public persuasion over the period of 1919-40.
In the light of subsequent history, Essays in Persuasion is a remarkably prophetic volume covering a wide range of issues in political economy. In articles on the Versailles Treaty. John Maynard Keynes foresaw all too clearly that excessive Allied demands for reparations and indemnities would lead to the economic collapse of Germany. In Keynes's essays on inflation and deflation, the reader can find ideas that were to become the foundations of his most renowned treatise, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936). With startling accuracy Keynes forecast the economic fluctuations that were to beset the economies of Europe and the United States and even proposed measures which, if heeded at the time, might have warded off an era of world-wide depression. His views on Soviet Russia, on the decline of laissez-faire, and the possibilities of economic growth are as relevant today as when Keynes originally set them forth.
PART I: THE TREATY OF PEACE
The Capacity of German to Pay Reparations
Proposals for the Reconstruction of Europe
The Changing of Opinion
War Debts and the United States
PART II: INFLATION AND DEFLATION
Social Consequences of Changes in the Value of Money
The French Franc
Can Lloyd George do it?
The Great Slump of 1930
The Consequences to the Banks of the Collapse of Money Values
PART III: The Return to the Gold Standard
Auri Sacra Fames
Alternative Aims in Monetary Policy
Positive Suggestions for the Future Regulation of Money
The Speeches of the Bank Chairman
The Economic Consequences of Mr Churchill
Mitigation by Tariff
The End of the Gold Standard
PART IV: POLITICS
A Short View of Russia
The End of Laissez-Faire
Am I a Liberal?
Liberalism and Labour
PART V: THE FUTURE
Economic Possiblities for our Grandchildren
PART VI: LATER ESSAYS
The Means to Prosperity
How to Pay for the War